Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 Review

January 28, 2020 | Mark Goldstein |

Introduction

The Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is a fairly fast wide-angle prime lens for Sony's extensive range of full-frame and APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras.

It features a maximum aperture of f/2.8, an Optimized Silent Drive focus motor for quiet AF operation, and a moisture-proof construction.

The optical formula comprises 9 elements in 8 groups, including one moulded glass aspherical element and one low-dispersion element.

It has an iris diaphragm with seven rounded aperture blades.

This lens is ideal for close-up shooting, offering a minimum focus distance of 0.15m and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2.

The Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 lens is priced at £399 / $349.

Ease of Use

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

The Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 is a compact, lightweight prime lens, measuring just under 6.5cms in length and weighing in at 210g.

You can also use it on a smaller Sony APS-C body, where the effective focal length changes to 52.5mm due to the 1.5x crop factor.

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Build quality is very good, despite the all-plastic construction and the attractively low price-tag. The Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 feels solid enough in your hand, and it has a metal mount.

Note that the bayonet fit is very firm, so much so that it requires quite a strong twist to mount/unmount the lens. Whether or not it will loosen up with prolonged use remains to be seen.

The focusing ring is generously wide given the overall size of the the lens and it has a ridged, rubberised grip band.

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

There are very few features though - no distance scale, no depth of field scale, not even an An AF/MF switch on the side of the lens to make it easier to switch between the two focusing systems.

The lens also doesn't offer built-in Vibration Compensation, instead relying on the Sony camera body to provide image stabilisation (if indeed it supports it).

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

The Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 features an OSD (Optimized Silent Drive) motor that claims to allow near silent auto-focusing. Importantly, this solution also allows full-time manual focus override, even when the focus mode is set to AF.

In use, we found the auto-focusing to be fairly sluggish - and certainly nowhere near instantaneous - with the lens mounted on a Sony Alpha A7 III camera. It's also pretty audible, despite Tamron's assertion that its silent, making this lens less well-suited for video use.

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

The lens is supplied with lens caps and a removable slim, round lens hood - there's no bag included. Filter size is 67mm.

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Focal Range

The Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 offers an angle of view of 63°26'.

Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are not really a problem with this lens.

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Vignetting

With the Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 wide open at f/2.8, you can see some noticeable light fall-off in the corners. Stopping down helps, although to completely get rid of this phenomenon, you will need to use an f-stop of f/8 or smaller. There's also some slight barrel distortion apparent.

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2L

Macro

With a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2 and the ability to focus very closely at 15cm from the film/sensor plane, the Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 doubles up as a very useful macro lens. The following example illustrates just how close you can get to your subject.

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Sunstars

The Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 produces nice sunstars when stopped-down to f/16 and f/22, although unwanted flare effects are apparent when shooting directly into the sun, even with the lens hood fitted.

Tamron 20mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc.

Isolating the subject from the background is normally hard to do with a wide-angle lens such as the Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2.

Tamron have employed an iris diaphragm with 7 rounded blades, which coupled with the ability to get really close to your subject makes for a fairly pleasing rendering of the out-of-focus highlights when shooting wide open at f/2.8.

Below you'll find some examples, but you are also encouraged to check out our full-size sample images.

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.